Where to Drink Beer in Houston This Fall

You could probably use a drink.

The Hay Merchant
The Hay Merchant | Julie Soefer Photography
The Hay Merchant | Julie Soefer Photography

It’s been a rough, frustrating season for all of us, and that includes Texas bars, most of which have had to pivot their business with to-go models or by applying for new permits, on top of the reduced business and general stress. We could all use a beer -- so what better way to take the edge off than by supporting local suds shops? From craft beer bars rocking crowlers to-go to watering holes where you can responsibly quench your thirst from a safe social distance, here’s where to get your beer on in Houston:

Forty-two mindfully selected taps, half of them pouring local suds, line the wall of this handsome Downtown craft beer spot. But you’ll find way more than just beer here (thus the bovine part of the equation). Score a socially distanced seat to sip pint of the good stuff alongside double cheeseburgers, smothered Texas tots, and daily specials from $1 Tacos Tuesdays to Thursday Steak Nights. Not ready to dine in? The team delivers frozen and classic cocktails, brunch bevies, and eats, too.
How to order to-go: Text 832-547-0912 for a delivery.

You’ll be able to spend all day in a hammock at this beer-fueled oasis one day again soon. Until then, the craft beer garden has been hosting a series of drive-in concerts, with artists playing live from the rooftop and an FM station to tune into from the comfort of your car. Axelrad will provide the drinks to-go, too. Follow along on social media to hear about the next event and any changes in opening.
How to order to-go: Order drinks and merch online.


Garden Oaks/Oak Forest

Live music, superior Texas pub fare, and a sprawling, human-and-dog-friendly patio where you can comfortably stay six feet away from others help to keep everyone happy; while the top-notch selection of 42 beers on tap -- two of which are cask-conditioned -- helps to keep YOU happy. Everybody wins.
How to visit: Walk-ins welcome at limited capacity, check Facebook for current hours.

Beer nerds have mad love for this totally chill craft beer & cocktail garden, which rocks 49 carefully chosen on-tap brews that run the gamut, from the dark, malty, and hoppy to the sour, funky, and alluring, plus some intricately crafted cocktails. Grab a pint along with some badass pub grub, like housemade chorizo dogs, or cauliflower “al pastor.” Sibling establishments Holman Draft Hall (Midtown) and Heights Bier Garten (Heights) are equally worthy contenders (more on those below).
How to visit: Walk-ins welcome at limited capacity, check Facebook for current hours.

The Hay Merchant
The Hay Merchant | Julie Soefer Photography

Head to this Montrose wunderkind for beer done right. Nay, done flawlessly, because 
The Hay Merchant is part of Underbelly Hospitality’s umbrella of outstanding operations (alongside favorites like Georgia James, Blacksmith, UB Preserv, and One Fifth Houston). With a rotating list of 80 taps (including five cask engines), plus an extensive bottle list and 200 kegs in the cellar, even your light-beer-guzzling buddy will be turned on by the bar’s dynamic selection of fine-as-hell brews. If not, you may want to rethink that friendship.
How to order to-go: Order online for delivery and curbside pickup.

This beer-house may just be the most laid-back and unpretentious in the city. House-made shandies are perfect in the Houston summer time, while cheap happy hours and an extensive 50-tap list of interesting brews (even offered in growlers and crowlers) are perfect all the time.
How to visit: Walk-ins (subject to 50% capacity) welcome.

The Flying Saucer

Multiple locations

Beer nerds and newbies alike flock to The Saucer for one of the city’s most all-encompassing beer lists (there’s even an in-house cellar for aging bottles and kegs). But, more importantly, folks come here on the regular to make their way down the UFO club’s list of 200 beers, earning them a coveted gold plate on the bar’s ceiling or wall. The draught emporium is currently open for dine-in and to-go.
How to order to-go: Order online for pickup or get delivery via Uber Eats and DoorDash.

60+ taps line the wall of a dark blue shipping container at this wild game hot dog joint. And the craft beers that those taps hold (some of which are brewed in-house in three-and-a-half-barrel fermentation tanks) are just as thoughtfully wild as the wieners themselves. Load up a weenies made with duck, elk, and wild boar and grab a pint or five to enjoy in the yard.
How to visit: Open for walk-ins at limited capacity, check out the Almighty Moon Tower Inn on Facebook for hours and opening deets.
How to order to-go: Call at 346-240-8967.

Open mic comedy is back at this gritty Montrose institution, which has been slingin’ brews and tunes since 1978. To go along with its 80+ taps, former Pi Pizza founder and chef Anthony Calleo is helming the kitchen. Choose a cheap pint from Rudz’ constantly rotating tap and bottle list to pair with Detriot-style pizzas, or the better than that other place “Gay Fil-A” chicken sandwich.
How to visit: Open for walk-ins at limited capacity, follow Facebook for updates.
How to order to-go: Call 713-521-0521 for delivery or order pickup online.

Beer Market Co.

Multiple locations

This isn’t your ordinary sports pub. Sure, it has TVs flanking every inch of the wall, some pretty freaking good wings & burgers, and a (now) socially distanced house every Game Day... but it also houses one of the largest selections of brews in the city -- with 365 beers, which it rotates through on the regular so "you won’t get bored." Thanks, guys.
How to visit: Open for walk-ins at limited capacity.

Hardcore connoisseurs know that this brewhouse is well with the trip to Clear Lake. Maybe it’s the 200+ bottle & draft beer program that is on par with any top beer bar in the loop, or maybe it’s the fact that you can pair any of those beers with Vietnamese fusion pub fare (think char siu pork nachos and butter garlic wings). Unwind over a snifter, tulip, or pint while downing a Vietnamese hot dog in a chill-as-hell atmosphere, and grab a growler to go on the way out.
How to order to-go: Order online or call 832-932-5111.

King's Bierhaus

Multiple locations

One sweet day we’ll be able to frolic around the yard prosting steins at the German Disneyland that is King’s BierHaus. Until that day, you can keep your stein to yourself and enjoy it while responsibly social distancing. With 400 seats and 9,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor space, there is plenty of room in which to do so. Head here for German biers with King’s wursts and schnitzel, or order takeout to do the same exact thing at home. 
How to visit: Walk-ins welcome at limited capacity. 
How to order to-go: Order online or get delivery via DoorDash.

This good-looking draughthouse -- the younger sibling to Wooster’s Garden and Heights Bier Garten -- is legitimately cool, sporting 100 temperature-controlled beer and wine taps to keep your bevies perfectly crisp. The indoor/outdoor bar is also plenty spacious with its sky-high ceilings, open-air pavilion, and seating options that include both velvet couches and swings. Also really cool? There’s weekend brunch.
How to visit: Walk-ins welcome at limited capacity, check Facebook for updates on hours and more.

This neighborhood powerhouse is two concepts in one, blending one part beer and wine bar (Heights Bier Garten) with one part cocktailery (Worcester's Annex) and rocking a shaded courtyard for both in between. Head to HBG to partake in one of its 90+ taps, from refreshing pils and funky saisons to hoppy and bold IPAs, all perfectly chilled in a three-sectioned temperature-controlled cooler.
How to visit: Walk-ins welcome with only seating room allowed.

Cobble & Spoke

Spring Branch

You can support local biz and Texas craft by scoring crowlers to-go from this homegrown beer bar, where beer nerds come for a 40-tap roster of interesting suds focused on Houston and its surrounding areas. Follow along on social media to find out what kind of funky stuff is being poured that day.
How to order to-go: Stop in and pick up crowlers, growlers, bottles & cans to-go on most days from 3-8pm (check Facebook for any updates on hours and opening).